some interesting points about proposed upcoming changes to the importation of used passenger vehicles, as per the govt productivity report into automotive sector. not sure if i should be sharing this, so i reserve the right to take down this thread.
This inquiry has concluded. The final report was sent to Government on 31 March 2014 and released on 26 August 2014.
The Australian Government asked the Commission to undertake an inquiry into public support for Australia's automotive manufacturing industry, including passenger motor vehicle and automotive component production.
The Commission was asked to:
examine national and international market and regulatory factors affecting the industry identify and evaluate possible alternative public support mechanisms identify any significant transition issues or adjustment costs that may arise from alternative support mechanisms or policy changes and how they might be best managed assess the significance of the capabilities within the industry, its direct employment and economic benefits, and its secondary impacts on other sectors of the economy quantify the costs and benefits of existing and alternative assistance mechanisms.
The Commission undertook public consultation, inviting public submissions and releasing a preliminary findings report to the public.
The Australian Government should progressively relax the restrictions on the importation of second-hand passenger and light commercial vehicles. The new regulatory arrangements for imported second-hand vehicles should be developed in accordance with the outcomes of the Australian Governments current review of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (Cwlth) and should:
not commence before 2018, and ensure that reasonable advance notice is given to affected individuals and businesses, such as vehicle leasing companies
be preceded by a regulatory compliance framework that includes measures to provide appropriate levels of community safety, environmental performance and consumer protection
initially be limited to vehicles manufactured no earlier than five years prior to the date of application for importation
be limited to second-hand vehicles imported from countries that have vehicle design standards which are consistent with those recognised by Australia.
The Australian Government should remove the $12 000 specific duty on imported second-hand vehicles from the Customs Tariff as soon as practicable.
The Australian Government should accelerate the harmonisation of Australian Design Rules with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Regulations and the mutual recognition of other appropriate vehicle standards.
The Australian Government and all state and territory governments should justify any existing and future jurisdictional deviations from UNECE Regulations through comprehensive and independent cost benefit analyses.
The Australian Government should, in its forthcoming Taxation White Paper, consider:
the removal of the five per cent tariff on imported passenger and light commercial vehicles after Ford, Holden and Toyota have ceased manufacturing motor vehicles in Australia
the removal of the luxury car tax
more efficient sources of government revenue with which to replace these measures.
After Ford, Holden and Toyota have ceased manufacturing motor vehicles in Australia, the Australian, South Australian and Victorian governments should remove fleet procurement policies that require government agencies to purchase vehicles manufactured in Australia.
OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST:
The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is currently reviewing the Motor Vehicle Standards Act. The Review will identify options to reduce regulatory burdens imposed on businesses by the Act, and improve its safety, environmental and anti-theft provisions. A Regulatory Impact Statement and public consultation processes are expected to begin in mid-2014
There would also need to be an appropriate regulatory compliance regime covering the imported vehicles, with the expenses incurred by governments to be recouped on a cost-recovery basis. The Commission also considers that second-hand vehicle imports should be limited to source countries where vehicle design standards are consistent with those recognised by Australia. The Commission anticipates that the outcomes of the current Review of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act will provide insight into the appropriate regulatory framework for a future second-hand vehicle import scheme.
In view of the impending closure of the motor vehicle manufacturing plants in Australia, it seems even less plausible that having some local set of ADR standards that differ from internationally accepted design standards could be justified taking account of all the costs compared to the benefits.
Tesla raises the bar for their liability regarding reliability of the electric car, makes automotive history:
[quote=Tesla CEO]The Tesla Model S drive unit warranty has been increased to match that of the battery pack. That means the 85 kWh Model S, our most popular model by far, now has an 8 year, infinite mile warranty on both the battery pack and drive unit. There is also no limit on the number of owners during the warranty period.
Moreover, the warranty extension will apply retroactively to all Model S vehicles ever produced. In hindsight, this should have been our policy from the beginning of the Model S program. If we truly believe that electric motors are fundamentally more reliable than gasoline engines, with far fewer moving parts and no oily residue or combustion byproducts to gum up the works, then our warranty policy should reflect that.
To investors in Tesla, I must acknowledge that this will have a moderately negative effect on Tesla earnings in the short term, as our warranty reserves will necessarily have to increase above current levels. This is amplified by the fact that we are doing so retroactively, not just for new customers. However, by doing the right thing for Tesla vehicle owners at this early stage of our company, I am confident that it will work out well in the long term.
HOLDEN is poised to introduce what will become the world’s fastest ute — probably of all time — leaving a legacy likely to last decades after General Motors’ Australian factories close in 2017.
It will be the first — and the last — Holden ute that can accelerate to 100km/h faster than a Porsche.
The Holden Special Vehicles performance car division will ensure the humble homegrown ute goes out with a very big bang by installing the supercharged V8 from the $100,000 HSV GTS sedan, the fastest and most powerful car Australia has ever produced.
After promising at least 625hp since it was shown to media in December of last year, Chevrolet has been tight-lipped regarding the actual power output of the supercharged 6.2L LT4 that lives under the carbon fiber hood of the 2015 Corvette Z06. Today, Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Jeuchter announced at an SAE conference that the engine produces an SAE-certified 650hp at 6,400rpm and a peak of 650lb-ft of torque at 3,600rpm, a significant step up from the 460hp LT1 engine in the Stingray. In case you've forgotten, that's more powerful than the SAE-certified 638hp from the LS9 in the previous range-topping C6 Corvette ZR1.
650 is an Awfully Round NumberThe 650hp certification makes the all-new 2015 Corvette Z06 the most powerful production car in Chevrolet's history, and puts it into rare territory among high-powered supercars. Chevrolet points out that unlike other supercar engines, the LT4 has power available practically everywhere in the engine's range, producing 457 lb-ft just off idle and 625 lb-ft by only 2,800 rpm. Like the C7 Stingray's LT1 engine, the LT4 is direct injected which improves both efficiency and emissions. Thanks to an efficient 1.7L supercharger that is able to spin 33% faster than the 2.3L supercharger on the C6 ZR1's LS9, the LT4 is able to build boost sooner and still maintain an incredibly broad power band. What we found interesting is that the engine doesn't seem to stop making power even at its 6,400rpm peak. We learned that, again like LT1, the LT4's fuel cutoff is at 6,600rpm, so while it has been certified to make 650hp at 6,400rpm, that's not to say it doesn't make a few more before the supercharger runs out of steam and the fuel stops flowing.
In the Company of Exotics The 2015 Corvette Z06 and its 650hp puts it among the top 10 most powerful cars for sale in the US for 2015, and only 1hp down on the Ferrari FF. There's a lot of European carbon fiber on that list, and surely Chevrolet would have loved to move one up one more spot among the exotics, so we spoke with Tom Read at GM Powertrain Communications. It turns out that GM wasn't too worried about the Ferrari ranking because, like many manufacturers, Ferrari doesn't get its engines [URL="http://www.sae.org/certifiedpower/data/"]SAE certified. Tom didn't technically say that Ferrari is a bunch of dirty rotten liars, actually he didn't even imply it in the slightest. But we will. Also worth noting is that the Viper is about to get some company on that list when the [URL="http://www.hotrod.com/news/the_2015_challenger_hellcat_and_corvette_z06_a_game_of_horsepower_hold_em/"]Hellcat's horsepower is announced, adding one more V8 with a supercharger and leaving only one Lamborghini on the chart. Before anyone asks, the Bugatti Veyron and Shelby GT500 are no longer in production.
Power:Weight Trumps HP/LBecause it caries its 1.7L supercharger low in the lifter valley, the LT4 in the 2015 Corvette Z06 is only about an inch taller than the compact LT1 engine in the C7 Stingray. That allows the Z06 to make a lot of power from a small total volume, which has been a hallmark of Chevrolet small-block V8s from the 265 through the LS engines that debuted in the C5 Corvette. Jordan Lee, chief engineer for Small Block engines, notes that, “The power density of the LT4 makes it one of the smallest and lightest 650-hp engines in the industry." Long live pushrods! To cope with the added cylinder pressure and power output, the LT4 was equipped with the following features that build on the already robust LT1 engine:
Rotocast A356T6 aluminum cylinder heads that are stronger and handle heat better than conventional aluminum heads
Lightweight titanium intake valves (The LS7 also used titanium valves)
Machined, forged powder metal steel connecting rods for reduced reciprocating mass
High 10.0:1 compression ratio - for a forced-induction engine – for enhanced performance and efficiency
Forged aluminum pistons with unique, stronger structure to ensure strength under high cylinder pressures
Stainless steel exhaust manifolds and an aluminum balancer that are lighter than their LT1 counterparts
Standard dry-sump oiling system with a dual-pressure-control oil pump.
Bring on the Crate Engines
If you're anything like us, you're already seeing the engine bays where an LT4 could be bolted in. Although they haven't been swapped into anything yet, we all know that LT engines are very similar to LS engines, and those can go just about anywhere. So how long will it be before we see LT4 crate engines? Chevrolet has already announced that the LT1 engine from the C7 Corvette Stingray will be available as crate engines from Chevrolet Performance, expect to see an update at SEMA 2014. Because LS9s from the C6 ZR1 have been available as crate engines for years, it can't be long before the 2015 Corvette Z06 follows suit and LT4 crate engines are providing muscle cars with supercar levels of power.
We've reached the halfway point of the year and the battle for the title of Australia's favourite car could barely be closer.
After flying out the gate and establishing a 5000-unit lead by February, the Mazda 3 has been reeled in by the Toyota Corolla over the past four months, cutting its margin to just 358 vehicles (22,524 v 22,166) and setting up an intriguing race in the back half of 2014.
Sales of both models are up this year - the Mazda by 12.2 per cent, the Toyota by 5.7 per cent - bucking the trend of the market overall, which is down 2.4 per cent compared with the first half of 2013 (559,951 v 573,711).
The Toyota HiLux (19,160) sits in third position. Sales of the 4x2 variant have increased 1.7 per cent (5417), though the more popular 4x4 is down 10.7 per cent to 13,743 in a segment that is down 7.2 per cent overall.
The fourth-placed Holden Commodore has been the big winner in the first half of 2014, with sales of the traditional Australian-made family car up 58.8 per cent to 16,355 compared to this time last year. Its share of the large car segment has increased from 52.1 per cent at the end of June 2013 to a commanding 72.6 per cent this year as rivals, the 47th-placed Ford Falcon (3562, down 29.7 per cent) and Toyota Aurion (2257, down 19.1 per cent), continue their downward spiral.
The Hyundai i30 (15,692, fifth overall) is the next best of the small cars, with sales up 4.7 per cent. Hyundai's small-car family sits outright third ahead of the HiLux when sales of the i30 and Elantra sedan (4352) are combined (20,044).
The Ford Ranger (13,443) is now clearly the second-best-selling ute in the country, with both the 4x2 (up 39.2 per cent) and 4x4 (up 24.1 per cent) finding favour among buyers.
A monster June for the Mitsubishi Triton saw it climb to seventh overall (11,838), narrowly beating the top-selling SUV, the Mazda CX-5 (11,006, up 9.0 per cent), the Volkswagen Golf (10,736, up 46.6 per cent), and the Toyota Camry (10,118, down 0.2 per cent), which rounds out the top 10.
A sales dip of 4.7 per cent has done little to dent Toyota's dominance at the top of the brand chart. Its 101,105 mid-year total is almost double that of any other manufacturer, though its share of the market has fallen from 18.5 per cent to 18.1.
Second-placed Holden is up 10.1 per cent so far this year (56,773), pulling clear of Mazda (51,910, down 0.7 per cent) and Hyundai (49,597, up 3.4 per cent), which are fighting a fierce battle for the final step on the podium.
Ford (42,242, down 5.1 per cent) sits alone in fifth, ahead of a three-way stoush between Nissan (33,155, down 24.8 per cent), Mitsubishi (32,676, down 12.5 per cent) and Volkswagen (28,571, up 3.3 per cent).
Subaru is down 3.3 per cent but holds on to ninth place (20,040), while rapidly sliding Honda (15,443, down 34.1 per cent) just clings to bottom rung of the top 10, holding off Kia (15,299, up 0.2 per cent) and the top-selling luxury brand Mercedes-Benz (15,006, up 14.3 per cent).
Fiat (2999, up 222.1 per cent), Isuzu (7846, up 57.8 per cent), Renault (4380, up 52.5 per cent), Jeep (14,207, up 43.2 per cent), Audi (9661, up 18.5 per cent) and Land Rover (5112, up 16.6 per cent) have all made strong starts to the 2014.
Suzuki has been a big loser, plummeting 24.4 per cent to 8883 sales and 16th position overall, while Great Wall has also disappointed, down 56.0 per cent to 1691.